How to Hire (and Keep!)
Your Barbershop Dream Team
Some barbers work best solo—they like a one-(wo)man-run, efficient, and functional barbershop that’s small and to-the-point. Other barbers, well, what can we say—they’re the exact opposite. They thrive when they’ve got a team of dedicated people backing them and helping them chase after the dream of building the perfect barbershop.
If you fall into that latter category (you know, the one where you really dig having a team at your helm), you’ve happened upon the right article.
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with running a one-person barber business (you do you!), we definitely understand the desire (and sometimes need) to recruit a team of talented people to help you run your business and navigate the ever-busy world of barbering.
There’s just one problem—if you’re not hiring the right team members, you’re basically setting yourself up for failure. And worse, if you are hiring the right team members but not doing what it takes to keep them, you can basically wave goodbye to your dream team.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can hire the perfect team and you can totally keep them on—it just takes a little hard work, determination, and commitment (especially from the get-go while you’re searching for the right crew).
We’ve outlined some quick tips for not just finding the ultimate barbershop dream team, but also a few must-follow-rules for keeping them in your employ, too.
Finding Your Dream Team
This is it—it’s time to find the perfect squad to help make your barbershop dreams come true.
Except…you have no idea where to start.
Listen, every barbershop is different, so we can’t offer incredibly specific processes and guidelines, but what we can help with are some general tips for ensuring your hiring process (however it might look) is seamless, efficient, and directs you toward the dream team you’ve been waiting for.
BEFORE You Hire, Get Your Stuff Together
You can’t reasonably expect to hire the dream barbershop crew if you don’t know what you’re looking for, what’s important for your shop’s growth, and what you value in a teammate—so figure out all of that first.
We highly recommend that you don’t start your hunt for the perfect team if you haven’t yet figured out what that perfect team looks like—otherwise, it’ll likely transform into a wild goose chase.
Consider what you want in a teammate, what your shop needs, and further, make sure you have all of your logistical ducks in a row (administrative tools, payroll, etc.) before you begin the process of bringing someone on.
Clarity in what you want and need is hugely important before you start hiring willy-nilly.
Make Sure They Align With the Important Stuff
When we say important stuff, we don’t just mean you should make sure they agree on the same barber techniques (although, if that’s important to you, don’t overlook that, either).
We mean the really important stuff, like your values, your goals, your morals, your vision, etc. If you hire people who don’t share these same values, it’s unlikely you’re ever going to see eye to eye or be the perfect team.
Mind you, we don’t mean that every person you hire needs to be a carbon copy of you, just that it’s important to share the same vision, goals, and ethics with the people you employ.
That’s what drives you all toward the same goal.
Consider Internships Before Employees
If you’re really looking to mold and craft your perfect dream team, consider adding on newbies right out of school as interns or apprentices before you morph them into employees.
Sure, this might mean more investment upfront and more training in the long run, but you’ll be able to help kickstart a newbie’s career while molding a perfect employee.
Hire Slowly So You Won’t Have to Fire Quickly
Be willing to take your time when it comes to building the perfect team. These types of things don’t always happen ASAP (even though we’d like them to), and sometimes, creating the ideal team takes a while.
Don’t rush the process—good things come to those who are patient and willing to hold out for the ideal crew.
Trust Your Gut
You obviously need to review qualifications, values, goals, skills, and more when you start hiring people, but don’t entirely ignore your gut, either.
No, it’s not always the most logical way to gauge someone’s compatibility with your shop, but often, if you’ve got a feeling about someone (whether positive or negative), it can end up being correct.
We’re not saying that you should give intuition or “a feeling” all the power in your decision-making process, but we also don’t advise that you completely disregard your gut.
Keeping Your Dream Team On-Board
It took some time, but you’ve got the ideal team running your barbershop. You love them, they love you, everyone’s living in harmony and working toward the goals you’ve all agreed matter.
But a static work environment is rarely a healthy one. Just hiring on the dream team and then stopping all the hard work you put into finding them dead in its tracks will likely result in the worst possible scenario—losing the dream team.We obviously don’t mean that you, as the boss, should have to cater to every desire of your employees. But, when you’re running a team, it’s not enough to just be the boss.
You have to actually be a good boss to keep your dream team running smoothly. Here are a few suggestions:
Be the Leader You’d Want to Follow
Really take the time to think about and analyze your own leadership skills. And be as honest as possible.
Are you the type of leader you’d respect? Are you the type of leader you’d be proud to follow and listen to?
Everyone is different, which means everyone has different leadership styles that speak to them, but ultimately, if you’re not being the type of boss that employees respect, admire, and want to do right by, you can’t keep the dream team alive.
Figure Out What Drives Your People—Then Follow Through
Like we just said, everyone is different. Which means that everyone’s motivated by different things.
It’s your job to figure out what drives each member of your team so you can be a reliable resource in providing that motivation. That’s what great bosses do.
Never Stop Training So They’ll Never Stop Learning
The initial training might end after the 2-week mark, but that doesn’t mean that you’re done teaching. A great boss teaches their employees constantly, encouraging them to learn as much as possible while they work for them.
Be a reliable source of knowledge and education for all of your employees so that they’ll never stop learning.
Be a Boss First, But Don’t Forget to Be a Human
The fact of the matter is, you’re running a business—that means you’re in charge of making things happen. And ultimately, that means you need to ensure that you’re acting like exactly what you are—the boss.
But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be a genuinely good human, too. Be authoritative in a fair way, show clear direction and leadership, and ensure your employees know that you’re in charge.
But remember, you’re a human, and so is your dream team—be sympathetic, fair, and an understanding leader, too.
Do you already have a barbershop dream team? That’s what we like to hear.
Let us know in the comments how you found them, what your team is like, and what you do (every day!) to make sure you’re keeping them in the crew. We’re all about sharing tips with the barbering community.
If you’re looking for more advice on how to run a successful barbershop business, more self-employment insight, and a reliable source for the must-know trends in the barbering world, keep up with the NAOB blog for regular updates!